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iDrive Frequently Asked Questions
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What is iDrive?
The BMW iDrive system is an on-board system that integrates the vehicle’s main dashboard components—Navigation, Communications and Entertainment, as well as Phonebook, BMW Assist™ (not available in all models) and Vehicle Info—into one central, easy-to-access system.
What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system originally intended for military use. A network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense continuously sends signals to ground stations. These signals are used by your BMW navigation system to pinpoint your exact location, under any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.
What are the benefits of a BMW iDrive system?
The BMW iDrive system offers convenience, performance and safety. By integrating your vehicle’s Navigation, Communications and Entertainment functions into one centralized system, iDrive eliminates the fumble for controls and allows you to focus on your driving. iDrive features a single toggle switch and seven keys located at hand level near the gear shift. Innovative and intuitive, iDrive can be used without taking your eyes off the road, allowing for a safer, more enjoyable ride.
What's the difference between Portable Navigation Devices and on-board navigation systems?
A Portable Navigation Device (PND) is a GPS-enabled device that can be moved from car to car. On-board navigation systems, on the other hand, are installed within the dashboard of the BMW and are fully integrated with your vehicle's interior functions, offering greater resale value and aesthetics, more features, and an external antenna.
Does iDrive connect to the Internet?
No. iDrive does not connect to the Internet.
Does my vehicle warranty cover iDrive?
Yes. iDrive is covered under the four-year, 50,000-mile warranty.
How does Voice Command Control work?
Enabling hands-free phone calls and navigation system functions, Voice Command Control uses a special microphone located near the rearview mirror. It "understands" spoken requests and directs iDrive to execute them.
What is BMW Assist?
BMW Assist offers help when you need it most, allowing you to make emergency calls to the BMW Service headquarters, sending an automatic signal in case of an accident and connecting to Mobile Service in the event of a breakdown.
Why are map updates important?
Road networks change 10 to 20 percent a year and up to 40 percent in high growth areas, while Points of Interest, including restaurants and hotels, frequently close or move. BMW constantly updates its map data, using a network of 50,000 reporting sources, to stay on top of these changes. By updating your system regularly, you’ll know that the data at your fingertips is accurate.
How often should I update my map?
BMW recommends owners update their maps every six months or annually, at least.
Can I get iDrive installed if I didn’t purchase it with the car?
Not yet. At this time, the BMW iDrive system only comes pre-installed.
What is Real-Time Traffic Information? (Not available on all models, not available in Canada)
Some BMW On-Board Navigation systems provide Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) making drivers aware of the traffic conditions around them.
What is Traffic Information Service?
In highly populated areas, the BMW iDrive system can display real-time traffic information transmitted from radio stations.
What is a POI?
POI stands for "Points of Interest." A Navigation feature, POIs include restaurants, gas stations, airports, hotels, shopping malls, tourist attractions and more. Thousands are pre-loaded into the BMW On-Board Navigation system, so that you not only get to your destination safely, but have a great time along the way.
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